Reading two books at once, like these two which are as different as chalk and cheese, is very rewarding. Each if them is a bit overwhelming in its own way but the other acts as antidote.
The Lord of the Rings, which I last read as a 22 year old, is the ultimate fantasy book. I wonder if I noticed last time I read it how subliminally rascist and sexist it is? All the goodies are fair and strong and tall and true. (Hobbits aren't tall, that's true, and they are heros, but they are really just a whimsical counterfoil.). The baddies are dark and squat.
Of the women, two of the three (of a cast of thousands), are on ethereal pedestals and the other one is huge, squat and horrible (the enormous spider-like creature my hobbits are currently battling). Are there others I have forgotten?
The book is very readable despite its flaws, but I do need a breather from its endless pictorial descriptions of the various world's and landscapes the hobbits traverse (I haven't worked out how the author makes these endless and often similar descriptions so interesting).
Then I pick up Dr van der Kolk's book about trauma and how the body reacts to it. It too has lots of stories, but also in depth descriptions of real life biology and scientific experiments, so these stories become understandable. It is rigorous and fascinating, even for someone like myself who is not especially drawn to such books. My son was reading it during his recent visit and I dipped into it. When he left, taking the book with him, I was interested enough to get my own copy.
Much of the activity in the Lord of the Rings would normally induce serious trauma, but this is a fantasy and the protagonists have an amazing ability to survive unscathed. I suppose that is part of its charm.